Accelerated Fresh Water Corrosion Study & Remediation of Steel Structures

Sheet pile and other steel structures installed in the Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin shared harbor are corroding at an accelerated rate compared to other Great Lakes harbors and ports. The harbor is located on Lake Superior and fed fresh water by the St. Louis and Nemadji Rivers. Originally discovered in 1998, the cause and potential solutions to the phenomenon have been investigated through a series of studies that carry on through today. An expert panel convened in 2004 to make an initial assessment of the extent and cause of the accelerated corrosion, as well as make recommendations for future testing necessary to identify and resolve the problem. Subsequent studies based on panel's recommendations have 1) determined the extent and rate of corrosion on steel structures in the Duluth/Superior Harbor (DSH) and established a long term corrosion rate monitoring program, 2) determined one possible cause directly influencing the accelerated corrosion through extensive biological testing, 3) established long term testing of coating and cathodic protection systems including the study of different coating's abilities to resist ice impact and abrasion experienced in cold region waters, 4) initiated long term full scale testing of alternative pile protective systems designed for cold regions, and 5) have shown that the accelerated corrosion is not only isolated to the DSH and has been found in other ports, harbors and small marinas within the confines of Lake Superior. Results from protection systems testing to date have identified several attractive coating and alternative protection systems that have showed to be resistant to ice impact and abrasion while preventing further corrosion of the steel structures. Future plans include the continued monitoring of existing long term tests as well as the initiation of further coating and alternative technology trials. Results of all trials will be published for utilization in the DSH and other cold region harbors.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 627-636
  • Monograph Title: Cold Regions Engineering 2009. Cold Regions Impact on Research, Design and Construction

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01144361
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410721
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 17 2009 11:57AM